To Write Better Copy, Faster!"
Scott L. Haines
Tuesday, 2:37 p.m.
November 4, 2008
the first part of this report, I'm going to give you 12 "battle-tested"
strategies from the frontlines that will help you write better
are quick, easy and painless to implement... a few take a little
more effort. But they all...
Flat Out Work!
are "go to" strategies for many of the most famous
copywriters/writers in the world!
in the second part of this report (titled: "How To Write
Copy Like Gary Halbert!"), I'm going to reveal a couple
of strategies for writing better copy overall... including...
one of Gary's secret copywriting weapons. It's a secret weapon
he rarely talked about, but one I witnessed firsthand.
though, in case you have no idea who I am, let me briefly introduce
name is Scott Haines. Gary often referred to me in his newsletters
as "Mongo"... a nickname I picked up when I first
started working with him in 1998. How I got it is not important
for our purposes here... but... it's in reference to the character
"Mongo" from Mel Brooks' movie...
through the years I had the pleasure of working side-by-side,
learning from, and forming a great friendship with Gary. And
in the process, I got a doctorate-level education in direct
response marketing and copywriting... which... has given me
an outstanding income and lifestyle over the past 10 years (or
so) that I could only dream about before.
fact, his passing left a huge hole in my life that has been-quite
frankly-hard to deal with. However, I've managed through a combination
of gratitude (gratitude for the time I got to spend with him)
and distraction (both the constructive kind and the destructive
any case, I don't want this to be a morose message. Not at all.
Gary wouldn't want that. No, what he'd want me to do here-and
I'm 100% sure of this-is do my best to impart some of the wisdom
I've gathered over the years (some from Gary, some elsewhere)
on how to write better copy... both faster... and... overall.
me relate something to you he once told me. During a conversation,
I brought up the subject of how my life would be different had
I never met him... I said, "You know, I can never repay
you for everything you've taught me." And he quickly shot
back with, "You don't have to. You just have to teach it
to others. It's your obligation."
until that point, I had never considered it my "obligation"
or "duty" to pass along what I had learned to others.
However, the instant he said that to me, it completely shifted
my thinking... a complete paradigm shift, if you will.
from that moment on (through e-letters, special reports, personal
mentoring and my "how to" copywriting course, Shortcut
Copywriting Secrets™), I've been working with that purpose in
if you're ready, I'd like to continue to fulfill on my "obligation"
with this report... starting with...
Faster Strategy #1... Set up a proper writing space:
Almost every great
writer I've studied or been exposed to has (or had) a space
where they can go that instantly puts them "in the mood"
to write. And I'm starting with this piece of advice because
I think it's one of those "first things first" things.
Is it mandatory?
No. I often write where I am... coffee shops, bookstores, bars...
even in my car sometimes (when a hot idea hits). However, I
do have a real writing space. A space that has everything I
need... desks, files, my library and so on. And I think, if
you're really going to be a productive copywriter, you need
a space like this, too.
You know, we (Gary,
Bond and I) used to joke that you know you're in Los Angeles
when you hear the words, "Feng Shui". But you know
what, after a careful review of the less "airy-fairy"
parts of Feng Shui, I think there are some great takeaway ideas
Check it out for
yourself, if you want. But however you decide to arrange your
writing space, just make sure you do it in a way that inspires
you... that lifts your energy... that allows you to be at your
As an aside: I
was in Key West a few months ago and, even though I've lived
there and been there dozens of times, I'd never visited Ernest
Hemingway's house... which is now a museum. Shame on me. So,
this trip, I made sure I went. And it was truly a pleasure to
see his little second-story writing room just across a catwalk
from the main house.
You can't go in
there, but it's cool just to check it out through the locked,
screen-type door. If you ever visit Key West, go there and take
the tour. Tip: Take the tour first, then hang around and browse
through the house on your own... and... bring a camera.
Better Copy, Faster Strategy #2... Set up a writing routine:
When do you do
most of your writing? Morning, afternoon, night? I used to be
a hardcore nighttime writer. However, over the years, I have
found that the best time for me to write is first thing in the
morning. After I've had some coffee, of course.
These days, I start
my pre-writing routine well in advance. In fact, I begin getting
ready to write the night before.
Here's what I do: After I've done all my research, when I know it's time to actually
start writing a promo, I have a little routine I follow. It
goes like this: Before going to bed, I take all the material
I've gathered and gone through in my research phase... things
like: sales letters, articles, reports, notes I've taken, and
so on. Then, since I've already highlighted or taken notes on
all the important points, I skim through all this material...
just covering what I've already deemed important. This process
usually takes 30 minutes to an hour.
After that, I sit
back and reflect on everything for a few minutes and start asking
myself a few key questions like:
What's the BIG Idea
If I were a prospect
for this product, what benefit would I want most?
about this product?
Next, I simply
relax, go to bed and let my subconscious work on the questions
and all the material I've covered. (Alternatively, you can actually
instruct your subconscious to work on the questions by saying
something like, "Dear Subconscious, please give me the
perfect answers or solutions to the questions I've asked."
Or, "Dear Subconscious, thank you for giving me the perfect
answers or solutions to the questions I've asked.")
And that's it.
I don't struggle trying to come up with answers, or solutions,
or anything like that. Then, in the morning, I go through my
usual writing warm-up and get started. (Note:
In my copywriting mini-course-available here for free-I outline
a 7-step formula for "warming up" that I developed
when I first started working with Gary. It works. I still use
some of the elements of it today... a decade later).
If all this seems
a bit far out to you, just know that almost every writer in
the world (of anything) uses this process… knowingly or unknowingly.
I've heard Sylvester
Stallone talk about using it on the hit TV show, "Inside
the Actors Studio." Dan Kennedy uses it. Author Robert
Louis Stevenson (Treasure Island and Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll
and Mr. Hyde) used it. Mark Twain said he never worked a day
in his life. That all his humor and all his great writings were
due to the fact that he tapped the inexhaustible reservoir of
his subconscious mind.
So, if you'd like
a little (or a lot of) help with your writing, give this a technique
a shot... even if you're skeptical.
Also, you can use
this "night before" technique at any point during
your writing process by simply reading over what you've written
that day... and then... sleeping on it. You can ask yourself
questions about it if you like... but... it's not totally necessary.
Your subconscious will work on it regardless.
Also, also, no
matter when you do most of your writing, may I suggest that
you at least try and do it at the same time every day. The reason
being: I don't think it's as powerful as what I just outlined,
however, your subconscious mind will adjust to a set schedule...
and give you an added boost.
Better Copy, Faster
Strategy #3... Write, A LOT:
The best writers,
write... and... write a lot. It's that simple. Does that mean
you can never take time off? Absolutely not. You'll burn out.
But, just as an example, my friend Matt Furey belts out-on an
almost daily basis-one, two or more e-mails to his list. And
he does this on top of writing an enormous amount of other materials...
including newsletters, books, sales letters, etc. And his e-mails
are almost always exceptional. Impressive, to say the least.
But you don't necessarily
have to match his pace to be a good writer. However, just know
it's possible... and... the more you write and, the more often you write, in general, the better you will become.
Better Copy, Faster
Strategy #4... Write for set time periods:
This piece of advice
comes from the late, great copywriter, Gene Schwartz. It's something
that virtually eliminates writer's block. Here's what he suggested:
Get a timer and set it for 33:33 (that's 33 minutes and 33 seconds)…
then, when the alarm goes off, take a five or ten minute break.
Then, reset your timer and start again.
A couple of things:
First, you can
do anything you want during the timed period. You don't have
to write but, you can't get up out of your chair. This is great
because it takes the pressure of "having to write"
off. And, what'll usually happen is, you'll start reading the
copy, maybe fiddling around with it a bit... and... before you
know it, you'll be working on your promotion.
the breaks, do something. Walk around. Have a small snack. Fold
some clothes. Or do some other mundane (but not mentally-taxing)
task. The idea here is to let your subconscious work. And keeping
your mind slightly distracted and your body busy aids the process.
Plus, it helps get your blood flowing again. Often answers to
pressing problems, fantastic ideas or flashes of inspiration
will jump into your mind during these rest periods. And yes,
when that happens, you should immediately go back to writing.
addition to the benefits above), I've found this technique to
be very helpful from a motivation standpoint. That is, it's
measurable, so it adds to my sense of accomplishment or progress.
And when I feel like I'm making progress on something, I'm more
likely to want to keep moving on it.
For example: I
just plain feel better (i.e. more motivated) if, after a day's
writing, I can say to myself, "I wrote for six sessions
today." Versus, "I wrote until I got tired."
And that brings
me to another point or tip. I got this tip from a book on working
out titled The Naked Warrior by Pavel Tsatsouline. In the book,
he quotes Soviet strength expert, Professor Vladimir Zatsiorsky,
who suggests you...
"Do as much quality work as possible
while being as fresh as possible."
This is excellent
advice when training your physical body the way he suggests.
But I'd also submit that it's excellent advice when you are
"training" or "working" mentally, as well.
And timed periods with defined rest intervals... help keep you
fresh... and... help you accomplish more. At least it works
that way for me.
Try it for a week-or
better yet, 21 days-and see if you don't get more done.
Better Copy, Faster Strategy #5... Write something easy first:
If you're having
trouble getting started, it's probably because you're putting
too much pressure on yourself... or... you're starting with
something difficult. The antidote (in addition to using a timer)?
Simple. Start with something easy.
A personal example:
Right now, I'm tired. I got roughly 3 1/2 hours of sleep last
night... so... I didn't feel like working on this report today.
However, as a pro, I must. So, instead of starting in a place
where I needed to do a little research, or maybe where I was
hung up a little when I stopped... I set my timer and started
here. A relatively easy part of this report to write. And you
know what, I'm starting to pick up a some steam. Most people
have heard this quote by Goethe...
"What you can
do, or dream you can do, begin it!
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it."
And it really holds
up. Whether you're starting a new business or career, or just
starting a day's work... the secret is to just get started or
For instance, when
you're writing a sales letter, you can start with the bullets.
My good friend John Carlton gave me that advice almost a decade
ago and it's paid off in spades.
You can also start
with something like the guarantee copy... which... if you write
copy long enough, will be almost boilerplate for you. That is,
you'll have one or more ways you spell out a guarantee that
you'll use over and over... that... you can write without much
effort. Then, when you pick up some steam-which, you'll do most
of the time-you can switch to a part of your promo that's a
little more challenging.
no matter what you do, you'll still be flat, tired and uninspired.
On those occasions, it might be wise to take the day off. Just
don't make too much of a habit of it. More often than not, you
can rise to the occasion... if... you just get started!
Better Copy, Faster
Strategy #6... Allow yourself to suck:
Listen: It's okay
to be less than perfect. Every word you put on the page does
not have to be "solid gold". After all, you're not
doing brain surgery! The "patient" won't die if you
And remember, just
because you write it (or type it) doesn't mean it has to be
printed or published that way. You can always edit and rewrite
later. And many times, you'll be surprised with your "less
than perfect" writing... especially... if you let it sit
a day or so before reading it again.
Dozens, if not
hundreds of times, I've written something that I didn't feel
good about during and immediately after finishing... however...
after setting it aside, then taking a fresh look at it, decided
to go with it.
So relax, and just
write. If you still feel hampered by perfectionism, just remember,
Better Copy, Faster
Strategy #7... Write your first drafts fast & furious with
history of written communication, almost nothing has ever been
published that's 100% perfect. And besides, who makes the rules
anyway? As a copywriter, as long as what you write, works, YOU
get to make the rules.
In his-I think-only
non-fiction book, On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft, Stephen
King had this to say about first drafts:
at a reference book while doing a first draft. You want to write
a story? Fine. Put away your World Almanac, and your thesaurus.
Better yet, throw your thesaurus into the wastebasket. The only
things creepier than a thesaurus are those little paperbacks
college students too lazy to read the assigned novels buy around
exam time. Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the
wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule. You think
you might have misspelled a word? O.K., so here is your choice:
Either look it up in the dictionary, thereby making sure you
have it right-and breaking your train of thought and the writer's
trance in the bargain-or just spell it phonetically and correct
it later. Why not? Did you think it was going to go somewhere?
And if you need to know the largest city in Brazil and you find
you don't have it in your head, why not write in Miami or Cleveland?
You can check it… but later. When you sit down to write, write.
Don't do anything else except go to the bathroom, and only do
that if it absolutely cannot be put off."
Good advice from
a guy who certainly knows how to get a lot of writing done.
Better Copy, Faster
Strategy #8... Don't be afraid to throw away writing if it's
This is a somewhat
counterintuitive strategy for writing better, copy faster. But
it works, because it keeps you moving.
I often watched
Gary write one or more pages (longhand on a legal pad), rip
'em out, wad 'em up and chuck 'em in the waste basket... and
then... immediately start over.
I do the same thing
quite often. You see, it's a natural human tendency to "warm
up" to things. And almost always, your first words are
"warm up" words. If that's the case-and after awhile,
you KNOW when what you've written is not up to par... or...
just plain stinks-trash it, and start over.
Sometimes, I even
trash a whole day's writing when I KNOW it's not right! I don't
cry or fret over it, I just start over and keep moving.
By the way, that
reminds me of something. At a seminar once, I was listening
to Jeff Paul explain something he calls his...
It goes something
happens to you that, at the time, seems like an unfortunate
event-if you have to-give yourself five minutes to just wallow
in your pain.
You can feel sorry
for yourself... scream... cry... complain bitterly or whatever
you need to do. However, when the five minutes is up, you gotta
quit wining and go immediately back to being proactive in your
It's a good strategy
for anyone... and... a GREAT strategy if you're a freelancer.
For example: If
your latest promo doesn't work as well as you hoped. Or, if
yesterday's writing was a wash. Or, if your client doesn't mail
your letter for some insane reason. Or, whatever.
If you need it,
take five minutes to wallow... then... get on with things.
Better Copy, Faster Strategy #9... Use technology when it's
I'm not a technology
junkie. Far from it. In fact, I often still write longhand on
legal pads when I'm not in a time-crunch... making me, by today's
standards, a hardcore Luddite (look it up).
However, I can
be persuaded to use technology that is actually useful.
Here's a web site
I found recently that provides a service that ensures-in as
much as anything dependent on technology can ensure-you'll never
lose an important thought again. It's located at jott.com. (In
beta it was totally free, however, I just checked, and now you
might have to pay for some of the features.)
The way it works
is... you sign up and give them your phone number. Then, you
program their toll-free 866 number into your phone. (I have
it on my cell phone's speed dial.) After that, any time you
have a thought, you call their number and it asks you, "Who
do you want to Jott?" You say, "me" or "myself".
Then it beeps and you can leave a message. The message length
is 15 to 60 seconds, depending upon what type of account you
have. However, you can leave as many messages as you want...
one after another.
Now here's where
it gets cool. After you leave your message, they transcribe
it (with fairly decent accuracy) and send it to you by e-mail...
or... you can log-in to the web site and print off all your
Of course, there
are other features, but for me, the "thought capture"
feature is the main thing I'm interested in. It cuts down on
written notes... and... keeps things, especially if they're
online-related, in front of me. I sometimes dictate copy and
cut & paste it into whatever I'm working on.
I turned online
marketing mavin, Rich Schefren, onto this service while at SXSW
in Austin and he seems to dig it.
In Napoleon Hill's,
The Law Of Success In Sixteen Lessons (which was written in
the early 1900's), he wrote about a very successful businessman
who would carry around postcards... and... when something popped
into his mind-an idea, to do item, et cetera-he'd write it on
a postcard and mail it to himself.
The purpose of
doing so was to free his mind to work on more important or current
matters... without... the fear of forgetting something.
Same concept, jott.com just makes it easier.
I've been using for the last year or so is located at: freeconferencecall.com.
The name pretty much says it all. You can set-up conference
calls or brainstorming sessions at no cost.
The free service
works great and I've used it quite a bit.
But what I like
more is their paid service that let's you do the same thing
with a toll-free 800#... and also... records the call. After
that, they send you an mp3 recording by e-mail within a couple
of hours. And, if you want, they'll send it out for transcription.
They offer 72-hour turnaround... or... for an extra fee, they
offer expedited 24-hour turnaround.
This is a fantastic
service that can be used from practically anywhere. I use it
for interviewing clients. It saves me the hassle of trying to
record the conversation myself... or... trying to take extensive
notes while talking. And, I can listen to the recording as many
times as I like... often finding hidden gems that I missed during
our live conversation.
Better Copy, Faster
Strategy #10... Get in shape:
To write better copy, faster, you must have the energy to write
better copy, faster. And you're just not going to have that
energy unless you exercise and eat fairly well.
I'm not preaching
here, I've been in and out of shape more times in my life than
I care to count. But I do know, the quality and quantity of
my writing suffers when I'm not in shape. Also, since my background
includes stints as a National Champion Powerlifter, Competitive
Martial Artist and Professional Bike Racer, I'm hesitant to
tell you what I do for exercise and nutrition... because...
it's most likely not right for you.
However, let me
just say this: If you're doing absolutely nothing right now,
if you'll just start walking-at a fairly brisk pace-30 minutes
a day, three to six days a week, you'll improve your health
and energy greatly.
If that's too much,
or you don't feel motivated enough to do that, start small...
even as little as 5 minutes a day in the beginning. Then, gradually
work your way up to 30 minutes a day.
Better Copy, Faster
Strategy #11... Specialize:
If you want to
write better copy, faster (and make a lot more money), it's
good idea to specialize as a copywriter.
Now, there are
many ways you can do this. You can specialize by industry: Health,
financial, etc. By occupation: Dentists, chiropractors, etc.
By medium: Direct mail, space, online, etc. Or some combination
of the above. Or, in a variety of other ways.
Just as an example:
You could be the guy who does nothing but write newspaper tear-sheet
ads for chiropractors. Or, you could be the lead-generation,
direct mail guru for dentists. Or, you could be-like one guy
I know of-someone who does nothing but write copy for newsletter
If I were starting
over today, I would specialize somehow. It's far easier (translation:
less stressful) and, when done right, far more lucrative. Why?
A lot of reasons:
will get much easier over time as you learn exactly what works
or what a specific market wants.
You’ll be able to recycle concepts and copy. In other words, you won’t have to reinvent the wheel every time… a big time-saver/money-maker.
|You’ll be able to keep up with trends and shifts within your specialty.
|You can focus on positioning yourself with laser-like intensity. That is, you can be a big fish in a small pond that everyone knows and wants to go to.
You can keep tabs on the competition much easier.
Better Copy, Faster
Strategy #12... Reward yourself:
This is something
I learned from Gary. Every time he finished a promotion, he
would reward himself somehow. Didn't have to be something big...
in fact... most of the time, it would be something as small
as buying himself a little gadget from Sharper Image or something
Over the years,
I've worked out a reward system for myself. I even break it
Like when I lived
in Los Angeles, I would set a goal to get "X" amount
of work done by Thursday afternoon around 2 p.m. Then, if I
hit my goal, I would reward myself by hitting "Happy Hour"
at Barney's Beanery (a great place to hangout, have a few drinks
and chit-chat with an eclectic group of Hollywood rabble.)
That was a small
reward, but it worked for me. And I'm not suggesting you "pollute
your body" every time you hit a goal. But I am suggesting
you figure out something that keeps you moving and gives you
joy for hitting your marks.
Now onto Part 2 of this report...
"How To Write
Copy Like Gary Halbert!"
How do you like
the headline above? But can it possibly be true? Can what I'm
about to reveal really enable you to write copy like Gary Halbert?
Actually, I can't
say for sure. However, I do know it can certainly help you write
copy more like Gary Halbert.
How do I know that?
Because it's one
of the things he did to help make his writing truly great. You
could say, it was his "ace-in-the-hole" or "secret
weapon" when it came to writing some of the best advertising
copy the world has ever seen. And it's this...
Reading Good Novels
You know, when
you ask most experts what books you should read to learn how
to write copy, the typical reply is something like: Scientific
Advertising by Claude Hopkins. Tested Advertising Methods by
John Caples. The Robert Collier Letter Book. Ogilivy on Advertising. Et cetera. And they're right. In fact, in my course (Shortcut
Copywriting Secrets™) I list all the classic books everyone
who wants to be an effective copywriter should read (and re-read).
However, once a
person has a deep and thorough understanding of these books...
and... has taken advantage of a few of the better, current courses
available, where should he (or she) go from there?
Once again, to
good novels. Let me explain-with a quick, real-life story-how
reading novels helps you become a better copywriter.
When Gary invited
me to come down to Miami Beach in 1998, I already had a solid
grounding in the basics. I had read and re-read all the classics.
Read as much of Gary's stuff as I could get my hands on... including
his book: How To Make Maximum Money In Minimum Time! In fact,
I even went so far as to copy out that entire book in my own
So, I was beyond
the absolute beginner level. However, I wasn't exactly a pro,
either. Now, you'd think, since I still had plenty to learn,
Gary would push his materials on me and tell me to study them
intently. But he didn't. No, one of the most important things
he did was buy me a novel.
Here's what happened:
Shortly after I
arrived in Florida, we took a trip down to the Florida Keys.
Marathon to be exact. And while in Marathon, we stopped at a
bookstore. I picked up a health book to help me with a current
project and Gary picked up a few paperbacks. After we got back
in the car, Gary handed me one of the paperbacks and said...
remember where you were when
Gary Halbert bought you your first Travis McGee novel."
And, as a matter
of fact-quite obviously-I still do. In fact, on a recent vacation
to the Keys (April '08), I passed by that bookstore and the
memory of him giving me that book was as vivid as the day he
Anyway, at that
time, Gary didn't say, "Read this, it'll make you a better
copywriter." No, he just told me that once I start reading
Travis McGee, I'll become addicted. And I did. Not a rabid addiction,
but I've slowly worked my way through the entire series (21
books in all) over the last 10 years.
And now that I've
finished all the books in the Travis McGee series, I consider
that gift one of the most important things I ever received from
Gary. Why? It's simple...
Reading Those Books
A Better Storyteller!
And good storytelling
("in print" or "in person") is paramount
to persuasion and selling.
You don't have
to look any farther than Gary himself. His newsletters-widely
regarded as the best marketing newsletters ever published-are
almost impossible not to read. He was a master storyteller.
And he honed his storytelling skills, at least in my estimation,
by reading fiction.
He was an inveterate
fiction reader. And what most people don't realize is, he hardly
ever read a book on marketing, advertising or selling. At least
in his latter years. Sure, he'd thumb through something someone
sent him. Or, he might buy a few things here and there that
really caught his eye. But for the most part, during our scores
of trips to bookstores all over the country, he bought, and
then read, novels. Mostly of the mystery genre.
In fact, one of
our last trips to a bookstore-a Barnes & Noble on Biscayne
Boulevard in Miami-was a quest for a semi-obscure Ian Fleming
(James Bond series author) piece of writing titled...
"Quantum of Solace"
Gary insisted we
find it, and insisted I read it... because... in his opinion,
it was one of the best pieces of writing he had ever read. And
it was/is. (If you're interested, you can find "Quantum
of Solace" tucked inside Fleming's novel, For Your Eyes
So, if you want
to become a better copywriter-and you've covered the basics-start
reading books written by good storytellers. Try the Travis McGee
series written by John D. MacDonald. You know, Gary used lines
in his copy that had a remarkable resemblance to lines in the
McGee books. He used them in person. He used them as part of
So there's much
you can learn from fiction.
And while I'm on
the subject, in addition to reading good novels, you should
Become An Observer
Of Life And
People... And... A Collector Of Stories.
Gary was a master
observer of life and people... and I... pretty much by osmosis,
learned this from him. You see, many people go about their day
half-asleep, paying little attention to the things that happen
around them and to them. Big mistake. Your life can (and should
be) source material for your copy. Let me give you a concrete
example. It's an excerpt from a letter I wrote recently for
a famous online marketer:
START OF EXCERPT
I'll tell you how
to get it in a minute. But first, a quick story...
Recently, a friend
of mine drove down here to _______ _______ to hang out, work
a little... and... in general, just shuck and jive. In fact,
this was a vacation/sabbatical for him in which, he drove, according
to his rental car receipt...
In any case, when
he returned home, he called and told me something interesting.
He said (and I'm paraphrasing a little bit here)...
_____, I'm amazed at what a dumba#@ I can be at times. The whole
drive, down to your office and back I could never get comfortable.
And the reason why is, my new rental car had air vents that
wouldn't adjust properly. When opened, I could only get them
to blow air directly in my face... leading to a quite quick
"too cold" condition. That, or I could close them
completely... leading to a quite quick "too hot" condition.
I just cursed the car company and went on. Well, turns out,
when I got back home (all the way back), while reaching to close
a vent-for what seemed like the thousandth time-I hit a bump...
and wouldn't you know it, the damn thing turned.
fact, I discovered the vents rotated 360 degrees, giving precise
angles for blowing the air wherever. Anyway, what makes me such
a dumba#@ is... I never tried to spin 'em... I just tried to
push them in and out like the old vents. Never even crossed
my mind to try something else. I tell ya, I wonder about myself
and my future sometimes."
Funny story. At
least it was the way he told it. However, it's much more than
that. You see, after I got off the phone with him, for whatever
reason, I was thinking about our conversation... and...
Something Hit Me!
My friend suffered
through thousands of long miles on the road... because of one
little piece of missing information.
Just someone showing
or telling him to rotate the vents would've made a tremendous
difference in the quality of his trip. In fact, later, when
I talked with him again, I asked him how much he would've paid
if someone would've offered to "fix" the vents. And
bucks, no problem."
END OF EXCERPT
Now, that's a true
story. It's actually a story within a story... but whatever.
The part about me driving almost 5,000 miles, uncomfortable,
'cause I couldn't figure out how to adjust the vents is absolutely
true. And I absolutely felt like a dumbass.
But that's not
The point is: That
was just a random thing that occurred to me during my trip.
However, I modified and used it to write a story that will help
sell more of his product... much more than a plain-Jane, "Here's
my promise, here's my product, here's how it fulfills on my
promise, I'll shoulder the risk, give me your money" pitch.
By the way, want
a top-level secret? There's some subtle psychology in that excerpt
there. Can you guess what it is? I'll wait....................................................................................................
Got it? No?
Then it's this:
You see the last subhead where I talk about how I'd have paid
500 smackers if someone would've showed me how to rotate the
vents? Not only is that absolutely true. I would have, and would
have gladly. But also, I'm using that as an early price justification.
You see, his product is under one-hundred bucks. And what it
does for you-in terms of helping you uncover missing information-is
much, much more valuable than someone giving you missing information
on how to operate your air-conditioner vents.
It's a little out
of context here, but if you were to read the whole pitch, you
would see how powerful that piece of subtle psychology is. It's
a way to justify price without direct comparison... to say it...
without... saying it.
However, I'm not
here to go into things like that. I just thought you might enjoy
seeing something on a little more advanced level of thinking.
(As a side note: Gary was also a master of subtle psychology...
and... it's something I learned by working side-by-side with
him and having hundreds of conversations with him about such
Anyway, to recap,
don't just stumble through your life. Observe and collect stories...
then... use those stories in your copy. And I recommend true
stories, as well. It's more ethical and they have more verisimilitude...
which simply means, they not only are true... but also... they
actually seem true.
I'm going to wrap up this report here. I hope you have enjoyed
it... and... I hope you use the strategies here to improve your
own copy efforts.
One last thing:
If you don't already own my complete copywriting course, Shortcut
Copywriting Secrets™, now would be a good time to pick it up.
For one, it contains
literally hundreds of tips, strategies, secrets and shortcuts
for quickly supercharging your copywriting abilities.
And secondly, with
the help of Bond and Kevin, I'm going to throw in a killer bonus
when you order my course from this page. I mentioned it above.
It's Gary's long out-of-print, bestselling book:
How To Make Maximum
In Minimum Time!
16 Of The Fastest Cash-Producing
Secrets Known To Man!
This book changed
the course of my life! And it's yours free. But you gotta hurry.
I have less than 50 original copies to be given out on a first-come,
first served basis.
So, if you want
one of the remaining copies along with my course, get on over
... and order now!
Scott L. Haines
P.S. By the way,
my copywriting course was the first information product ever
to receive the "Gary Halbert Seal of Approval." A
title I'm most definitely proud of and honored by.
P.P.S. Used copies
of Gary's Max Money book have gone for as much as $70. Again,
if you hurry, you can lay your hands on an original (unused)
copy for free-along with my world-famous course-by clicking
on and ordering from the link below...
2008 Scott L. Haines. All Rights Reserved.
Copyright © 2005 Gary C. Halbert. All Rights